Shares in mining companies made gains on new contracts with China and Chilean government attempts to limit extraction royalty payments, helping send the FTSE 100 index up 16.50 points to 4,503.20 by the close.
Rio Tinto climbed 45p to 1,325p.
AngloAmerica increased 31p to 1,138p.
BHPBilliton added 12.5p to 472.25p.
Alliance Unichem jumped 18p to 655.5p after stating first half profit will be better than expected.
Shell increased 8.75p to 417.25p on news a former executive currently with Swiss engineering group ABB will return as chief finance officer to help the company continue its recovery in the wake of its oil reserves scandal.
Hanson, the brick market, dropped 20.5p to 377.75p after its first half profits got hit by asbestos claims.
Associated British Foods dropped 15.5p to 627p on news the EU may cut subsidies to sugar producers, which would hurt its sugar beet operations.
Centrica lost 3.25p to 221p even as speculation mounted over the price bidders may be prepared to pay for its AA business currently on the block.
Shares are trading mixed in New York at present.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index is down about 8 points to 10,470, while the S&P 500 index is unchanged at 1,144.
New jobless and industrial output figures could push US indices down later today.IFAonline
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